This native tree is very common in my area. It took some very close looking to find that there were other pines as well. As stated in other tree postings, I never used to noticed what kind of trees there were in my landscape. Since I have been doing these Tuesday posts I have really learned how to identify a good number of trees. I hope you too have learned a little as well. I have changed my page a little bit, putting the tree links on a tab at the top. The list was getting too long to have on the sidebar. If you click the link, you will have the full list of postings about trees.
As I said, this is a native tree to the southeast. It can grow up to 100+ feet tall and has an oval crown. One of the interesting attributes of this tree is that it is self-pruning of its lower branches. My first thought with many of these was that they were ‘city’ pruned or limbed up for the home landscape, apparently I was wrong.
The needles are approximately 6- 9 inches long with three needles in each bundle. The needles are twisted, green, and kind of stiff.
Loblollys grow tall and straight and have been used in lumber, pulp, plywood, poles, and fuel. Another interesting fact is that new wood grain and old wood grain are markedly different. In addition to commercial uses it serves as a food source for birds, squirrel and deer as well as a common nesting site for osprey and bald eagles.
The bark of the Pinus taeda is dark gray with large scaly plates. It is a fragrant bark. Sometimes called Rosemary Pine because of the fragrance.
The name Loblolly means mud puddle. It is commonly found in swampy wet areas where the water table is close to the surface. The average age is 100-150 years and it is a fast grower.
The tree has both male and female flowers. In the spring when the pollen is released it is almost like a yellow dust storm. The cones are green at first and turn brown as it matures. It stays on the tree for up to a year after it releases its seeds. It is about 6 inches long. The tips on the scales of the cone are sharp.
My best online reference is once again Silvics from the Forestry Service.
Next week’s tree is the American Beech.
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.